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Healthy Cooking: How to Cook Beets

EatingWell's Jessie Price shares healthy cooking tips for how to cook beets three ways: how to roast beets, how to pickle beets and how to steam beets. She shows how to prepare fresh beets, a quick pickled beets recipe, roasted beet recipe and steamed beets.

Hi, this is Jessie. I'm here in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, and I'm going to show you a couple simple ways to cook beets. The first thing you need to know about beets: when you're at the supermarket, this is what you're looking for. So, you'll find your regular red beets. Those are the most commonly available, but then you might also see some beautiful golden beets or Chioggia beets. Those are the ones that are a little pink on the outside and then they have concentric white and pink circles on the inside. They are all beautiful. All right, bring them home. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to a month. If you bring them home with the greens attached, chop those greens off and store them separately; it will help them keep longer. But don't throw the greens away, because they are edible. You can cook those just like spinach or Swiss chard. So the first thing we're going to do with these is steam them. I take my whole beets and peel them with the vegetable peeler, then slice them into half-inch- to one-inch-thick slices. I've got a pot going with about an inch of water boiling in there. I have a steamer basket in it. I put my slices of beets in there and cover it up. Let that steam away for about 15 minutes until they are tender. At that point, they are ready to eat. You can also make a quick pickle and this is how: red onion, vinegar, sugar, cloves, some black peppercorns and a cinnamon stick. Bring that up to a boil. Let that reduce for about 5 minutes until your onions get just a little bit tender. Add the beets to it, let it sit and marinate in there for about 30 minutes and you've got quick pickled beets, delicious. Now, you might have seen roasted beets all around on delicious salads out at restaurants. These are not hard to make. This is what you do. You take your beets. Chop off those greens if they are still on there. You can leave about an inch of the stem on. Put them on a piece of foil. Drizzle that with olive oil. Close the foil, pack it up and put it on a baking sheet. Put it in a 425-degree oven and bake it until they are tender, about 50 minutes to an hour. All right, they are done. Now, they still have the skin on. All you have to do is slip those skins off. Use a paper towel to make that a little bit easier. Then chop them into wedges, put them in your own salad, maybe a little blue cheese or pecans on top, delicious. Now, good news for you guys, if you're eating more beets, this what you're getting. You're getting anthocyanins. Those are the antioxidants that help turn red and blue foods those colors, and they help fight cancer and help keep your heart healthy. That sugary reputation that beets have is totally unfounded. A half cup of cooked beets has less sugar in it than half a banana does. So, go ahead, eat your beets and enjoy them. For these recipes and more healthy vegetable recipes, come to eatingwell.com.
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